Sometimes it is important to pause from life, work, stress, bills, and grocery shopping to take stock of the gifts Life has given each of us. In the midst of a busy life, where so many people are tired so much of the day, a few moments or longer, to remember love can change your mood and hugely improve your life! I think of it as remembering gratitude, finding peace inside, and touching inspiration – something we all need!
The first time I met my man, he stood in front of one of my favorite restaurants on Clement Street in the Inner Richmond neighborhood of San Francisco. He was in a blue suit and held a bouquet of flowers in his right hand. He had a huge smile on his face, and the thought that went through my mind was that he was beautiful. He was such a sight to behold!
He opened the door of the restaurant for me and pulled out my chair at the table. After growing up during the years that gave birth to feminism, I still like a man to open doors and to put me first. It speaks to me of how he feels about women, and if he respects women. If that feels like a betrayal of the feminist movement, then you might consider that one of the biggest underpinnings of the movement was about freedom – to be who we are, t0 be treated fairly, and to have a man put me first if that’s what I want! With that said, let me add that the feminist movement was a critical part of history and made a big leap in women’s empowerment to go for and have more in life. The more I am referring to is more equality and more freedom!
We sat and ate a slow, leisurely lunch that spanned about 2 hours. He told me more about him, and I did the same. When I looked in his eyes, I saw both shyness and eagerness, both of which reflected my own. By the way, I met him through an online dating website! After a couple of coffee dates with some rather strange men, this was a refreshingly “normal” man and conversation.
What I mean by normal is a give and take in conversation. This is where two people each share of their history and their thoughts. They find some commonalities – for us that included both of us having lived in Ohio for years, and both of us being “city people”, and loving living in San Francisco. Other commonalities and differences would emerge with time, and bridges would be built where needed.
One of the most important qualities in relationships is mutuality. That is a quality of give and take, and like the ebb and flow of an ocean, it changes at any given time. When two people know that and have mutual respect for each other, the flow of power or control can actually be effortless! That goes along with an appreciation of the ‘gifts’ each person brings to the relationship.
It has now been more than a year since our first date. We went rather quickly through a process I think of as letting go of fantasy and accepting the reality. We all have our fantasy – the ideas of the “perfect” partner, which seem to have developed interestingly enough during early puberty, with some changes through the subsequent decades. One of the things I find quite fabulous is when we realize how much we are willing to release for a genuinely good man with some important qualities.
I love a man who can make me laugh and who makes me feel special. Good conversation is also important – on any topic from politics to how the 49ers are doing. I have also found it’s not that important that we agree on everything. With aging, I also find we all keep learning about ourselves and others. I like a man who holds my hand when we are out and kisses me out on the street if the moment hits him. All of these things of course go both ways.
One night we were going out, and in a vulnerable moment, I asked him how I looked. He said I looked wonderful. Then I asked him if he thought I didn’t look good, would he tell me. He laughed and then said he probably wouldn’t. When I asked him why not, he said he would never want to hurt my feelings. Little white lies – that’s what we call them. Is it okay to tell them? I could argue no and yes. But, as long as I’m not wearing something outrageous that I look lousy in, I can live with that particular little white lie. And looking at his beautiful smile, and how well he treats me every single day, I think awwwwww, such a sweet hearted man.